“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Oakland in Douglas County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

The Cow Creeks

A Tale of Strong Recovery

The Cow Creeks Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 20, 2016
1. The Cow Creeks Marker
Inscription. The story of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians is a tale of perseverance and strong recovery in the face of great loss. Epidemics and hostilities with miners let to large population declines. The tribe entered into a treaty with the United States in 1853, and ceded nearly 800 square miles for less than three cents an acre. This treaty left them without access to traditional hunting and gathering areas or a land base to build upon.

Despite a treaty with the U.S. Government – one of Oregonís first – clearly defining boundaries of their homelands, a federal program of Indian removal attempted to forcibly remove the Cow Creeks to reservations in northwest Oregon. Many members eluded capture by hiding in remote parts of the region – seven core families maintained a continuous presence in the area. The U.S. Government ceased pursuing them by the 1870s, and tribal families began to gradually emerge from hiding.

The 1853 treaty provided for various services that the U.S. Government disregarded for nearly 130 years. The Cow Creeks sued the United States for restoration of federal recognition in 1982, and a monetary settlement of $1.25 per acre for lands ceded (1855 prices) was awarded in 1984. The tribe placed the entire settlement in an endowment account using interest earnings for economic
The Cow Creeks Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, February 20, 2016
2. The Cow Creeks Marker - Wide View
development and tribal programs. In 1992, the Cow Creeks began a substantial economic development program in Canyonville with economic self-sufficiency as their goal.
Erected by Oregon Travel Information Council.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Oregon Beaver Boards marker series.
Location. 43° 28.596′ N, 123° 19.253′ W. Marker is near Oakland, Oregon, in Douglas County. Marker is on Interstate 5, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Oakland OR 97462, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The First Cabin in Douglas County (approx. 2.9 miles away); Historic Oakland (approx. 3.9 miles away); Applegate Trail - Oakland (approx. 4 miles away); Water Wheel (approx. 4 miles away); Pinot Noir (approx. 16.8 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is located in the Cabin Creek Rest Area South on Interstate 5. In other words, it is only reachable when traveling south on I-5.
Also see . . .
1. Cow Creek Story (Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians). ...The Cow Creek Tribe is unique in that they, on September 19, 1853, were one of the first two tribes in Oregon to secure a Treaty with the United States of America. This Treaty, ratified by the U.S. Senate on April 12, 1854, established the Government-to-Government relationship between two sovereign governments. As a result of the Treaty, the Cow Creek Tribe became a landless tribe, ceding more than 800 square miles of Southwestern Oregon to the United States. The Tribe was paid 2.3 cents an acre for their land. The U.S. Government was selling that same land, through the Donation Land Claims Act, for $1.25 an acre to pioneer settlers. This Treaty between the United States Indian agent, General Joel Palmer, and the Cow Creek Indian people, had many deficiencies. Specifically, there was no understanding by the Indians of the language or the concept of signing (making their mark on) the Treaty document and further, there was no understanding by the Indians of land ownership, let alone land boundaries (hunting, fishing and gathering sites, as well as tribal composites, were well established). The Treaty also promised health, housing and education to the Cow Creek Tribe. However, the Treaty was ignored by the U.S. Government for nearly a century until the Western Oregon Indian Termination Act of 1954. This Act, advertised as legislation to “Set the Indians Free,” caused federal relations with over 60 tribes and bands in Western Oregon to cease to exist. The Cow Creek Tribe had never received services or “recognition” since shortly after 1855. Ironically, however, they were “recognized” for the purpose of their involuntary termination in 1954. The Cow Creek Tribe received no prior notification of the Termination Act, as required by law, and because of that were able to obtain presidential action in 1980 to take a land claims case to the U.S. Court of Claims. The Court of Claims case was subsequently litigated by the Tribe to a negotiated settlement of $1.5 million.... (Submitted on October 29, 2016.) 

2. The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians ( (Submitted on October 29, 2016.)
3. Oregon Travel Experience - The Cow Creeks. (Submitted on January 12, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.)
Categories. Native Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 29, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 158 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 29, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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